In Mississippi, for example, it became illegal to give reading and writing instruction to slaves, nor could they work in the printing business. A slave could not hold a religion service unless conducted in the presence of two approved white observers. A slave could be whipped thirty-nine times for threatening a white man. Slave testimony was not valid against a white man. If a slave was convicted of a felony, the sheriff could burn the slave’s hand in the courtroom. The state paid a slave-owner half the value of a slave who was executed for a capital crime. An organized patrol system monitored local territories for fugitives.